The statement of this interest group discusses the concerns the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) raises. These include the lack of transparency of its content, the limited information given to the public, the fact that this is an executive agreement and the implications this will have in practice in the Unites States political context. Public Knowledge is also uneasy with the terminology used in the ACTA – the use of “piracy” and “counterfeit” without concrete definitions of what these words would encompass.
The opinion of Public Knowledge adds an important perspective to my argument because it criticizes the format and the ramifications of ACTA implementation on a domestic level. The interest group raises the fact that the ACTA is an executive agreement and as such does not require the “signatories to be accountable to the public” since it circumvents Congress. If one links this information to the claim that the ACTA is supported predominantly by copyright industries then it leads me to believe that the sole purpose of this accord is to give the companies such as the RIAA and MPAA greater powers to prosecute copyright infringement internationally at their own discretion. Eliminating accountability also signifies that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) does not want to directly involve the U.S. in multinational infringement disputes but only seeks to facilitate the domestic copyright industry to defend its rights in the international arena. The limitation of the Public Knowledge opinion is that it doesn’t consider the newest Fact Sheet that was released by the USTR in August 2008. Even though the fact sheet does not give a substantial amount of concrete information, it does formally address some of Public Knowledge’s questions.